Event Partners

Jan Dawson (NZL)

Name: Jan Dawson
Gender: Female
Date of Birth: 12/10/1953
Nationality: NZ
Residence: Auckland
First Language: English
Other Languages:


My primary goal is to fully contribute as a Board member to ensure that World Sailing performs to its potential and is strong and sustainable organisation.

I consider that the role of the President and Vice Presidents should be to govern not to manage the operations of World Sailing. The key objective is to appoint the Chief Executive, to agree the strategy and to ensure the Chief Executive executes against the strategic plan.

As Governors, the Board is responsible and accountable to the stakeholders, primarily the MNAs, to deliver value and an organisation that reflects the best practices for the governance, management and strategic direction.

In order to achieve this goal, there are some areas where I think the Board and management should focus on in setting the strategic plan for the next four years.

1. World Leader in Sports Governance.

The governance and decision making processes for our sport must reflect the best in modern governance principles and seek to set new standards of excellence. Continuing the journey that has already started to update the governance practices to be more effective and efficient is a priority. The governance of our sport must be leading edge but also reflect the basic values of transparency, ethics and accountability and provide the Board and Management with the authority to set and execute the strategy. I will use my experience to bring the best of corporate governance practice to the unique environment of a global sporting organisation.

2. A Valued Sport in the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The continued position of Sailing in the Olympics is fundamental - to provide inspiration to current and future sailors to achieve the pinnacle of an Olympic medal. This "hero position" drives the passion for excellence and increases participation across the sailing world.

But we should be realistic about the current percentage of World Sailing's revenue received from the IOC. We need to continue to build the relationship with the IOC and cement Sailing in the Olympics. The strategy should consider innovation and the unique aspects of our sport, while balancing the investment for MNA's. While innovation includes equipment and format, we must consider presentation and delivery to an increasingly demanding audience who consume information over a variety of digital platforms.

Sailing must be recognised an inclusive and integrated sport and continue the campaign to reinstate sailing to the Paralympics. The campaign requires changes that will build participation and competition, with development programmes and opportunities for Paralympic sailing in World Sailing events.

3. A Sustainable Organisation - Economic, Environment and Community.

World Sailing is in a prime position to be an icon for sustainable sport.

Our economic sustainability requires a diversification of our revenues so that there is less dependence on revenues from the IOC. The strategy to drive commercial income, increase the appeal to sponsors and social/digital media will underpin the capability to diversify the revenue.

Our contribution to environmental sustainability requires a consideration of the footprint of sailing, especially during competitions and our ability to show leadership with pollution in the field of play.

The community aspect will reflect our current and future investment in developing new and emerging nations and bringing a positive change through sailing to these communities.

Sailing Career

Jan enjoys racing and cruising keelboats.

She currently owns a Farr MRX 10.2m racing yacht and has co owned and raced a Farr 40 in NZ.

Jan races in both Womens and Open match and fleet racing regattas.

She won the New Zealand Women's Keelboat Fleet racing Championship in 2007 & 2008.

Her best results in matchracing are 2nd in the Australian Womens Matchracing Championship 2004 and 2nd in NZ Champs and 13th in ISAF Womens Worlds in 2008.

Sailing Administration

New Zealand

Jan was the President and Board Chair of Yachting New Zealand from 2007 to 2013, having joined the Board in 2006. She led the modernization of the governance and related Constitution for the organization during this period and was made a Life Member of Yachting New Zealand in 2014.

She is currently the Independent Chair of both the Audit Committee and the Olympic Committee for Yachting New Zealand.

Jan was awarded the inaugural Sport New Zealand Leadership in Sport Governance Award for Women in 2013.

Roles Within World Sailing

She has represented Oceania (Area L) on the Council of World Sailing since 2013. She has also served on the Events Committee for the past 8 years.

In 2009, she was appointed Chair of the Audit Committee and continues to hold this position.

In 2013, Jan was a member of the Elections Committee for the quadrennial election of the President and Vice Presidents of World Sailing.

Other Information

Jan is currently an independent Non Executive Director for a number of major listed and private New Zealand companies. Her current portfolio includes:

Chair - Westpac New Zealand
New Zealand's second largest bank

Deputy Chair - Air New Zealand
Listed company- NZ's National Airline

Director - Meridian Energy
NZ's largest Energy Company - 100% renewable energy

Director - AIG Insurance New Zealand,

Director - Beca Group - Professional engineering company with global operations.

In addition, she is a member of the Council of the University of Auckland, a Trustee for the National Maritime Museum and a Member of the Capital Investment Committee of the National Health Board.

Jan chairs the Audit and/or Risk Committees for a number of these companies.

Jan was the Chair and Chief Executive of KPMG New Zealand from 2006 to July 2011, having become a partner of the firm in 1986. She was a Board Member of KPMG - Asia Pacific and KPMG Australia and Councillor of KPMG International during this time.

She has over 30 years' of audit and accounting experience in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Canada, working in both Auckland and Vancouver for KPMG. Jan was lead relationship partner for a number of KPMG's significant New Zealand issuer clients. Her work encompassed a wide range of services including audit, accounting advice, due diligence and risk, governance and litigation support. Jan has particular expertise in working with financial institutions in particular New Zealand Registered Banks and worked in Canada during the introduction of the Schedule B banks. During her career she has managed a wide client base including global and NZ companies in manufacturing, professional services, software/IP and forestry.

She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Auckland, is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants New Zealand, a Fellow of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand and was previously a Fellow of FINSIA and a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow.

Jan has been recognized for her contribution to governance, business and accountancy, being named Chartered Accountant of the Year by NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2013, Outstanding Contribution to Business (CFO Awards) and admitted to the North Shore Business Hall of Fame in 2010.

She was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2016 Queens Birthday Honours in recognition of her services to governance in New Zealand.

Nominating MNAs

Dominican Republic
Great Britain
New Zealand
Puerto Rico
Trinidad & Tobago

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